KFE's DC500 sports the ubiquitous face of Hello Kitty, one of Japan's most successful long-term brands. The camera itself is a modest 5MP model, limited to ISO 100 sensitivity and 4x digital zoom (as opposed to optical). Its 32MB of internal memory can only be supplemented by SD cards ranging to 1GB. It does however have four stops of exposure compensation (-2.0/+2.0), and it can record up to three minutes of video at 640x480, or four minutes at 320x240. A computer with Windows 98 SE or greater is required. The DC500 is selling online for 12,800 yen ($108).
The Apple Store today went down briefly for updates displaying the company's classic "We'll be back soon" post-it note image, followed by the highlight of its Holiday Gift Guide. Apple is offering iPod gifts with its previously-reported unique holiday gift wrapping as well as gift cards for the Apple Store and the iTunes Music Store. The gift guide also suggests potential top-selling Mac software, and introduces the possibility of purchasing Apple products as a reward for business employees. Recent rumors and a mishap by Apple suggest the company may be preparing to unveil an updated Mac mini systems with Intel's new Core 2 Duo chips in the near future, following recent updates to the MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks.
Korean manufacturer Woojin is deploying the Tenbuno, a 19-inch LCD monitor with a smaller, 8.4-inch screen mounted on top. The monitor can be flipped upside-down to reverse positions. The displays are meant to be used for separate purposes, such as watching TV or movies on one while web browsing on the other. The quality of the smaller display is substantially less than the main one though; whereas the 19-inch screen has 8ms response, 700:1 contrast, and resolutions up to 1280x1024, the 8.4-inch screen is limited to 800x600, 10ms response, and 350:1 contrast. Pricing and availability of the Tenbuno outside Korea (if any) is presently unpublished.
Philips has just launched two new premium HDTVs in advance of the holidays. At the forefront is the company's 63PF9631D (pictured at left), one of the largest plasmas available at 63 inches. Though capable only of 1080i, the display has a USB port to directly play images and music from attached cameras or music players. Smaller but more feature-laden is the upcoming 47PF9441D (right), according to the company. This 47-inch LCD will be capable of a full 1080p resolution. Both sets will have Philips' Pixel Plus 3 HD, which is said to upscale even lower-quality DVD video to the displays' native resolutions, as well as dual HDMI connectors and virtual Dolby surround from their chin-mounted stereo speakers. The 63-inch system is already shipping to stores for $6,000 while its 47-inch counterpart is being readied for a December launch at a price of $3,000.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Slim Devices Squeezebox ($250-300), a device that streams a music collection from a computer to a stereo system through the network.... The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published Apple's continuation patent application titled 'Active enclosure for computing device' which originally described the company's iMac (bubble) which lit up and was available in various colors.... The European Office of 'Harmonization in the Internal Market' today published Apple's latest trademark/service mark application for 'POWERSONG'.... MacProVideo.com has released a new video tutorial program called "GarageBand 101: Mastering GarageBand" depicting veteran audio producer Paul Garay as he demonstrates making music in GarageBand.... Dell has delayed its third-quarter financials due to ongoing investigations by the SEC and the company's Audit Committee into previously disclosed accounting and financial reporting issues.... Lava Software is offering special introductory pricing for its PasswordVault password management software on site licenses for schools, colleges and universities, and special multi-user packs for companies as well as other organizations.
PBteen's Ultimate Display Speaker Shelf not only supports speakers, it has a pair built in. Each satellite is five inches on a side and can produce 10W of power. The only control of note though is a volume knob, and there's a single input jack for connecting devices like radios and iPods. The shelf is available in white or navy blue for $129. PBteen also makes complimentary lines of furniture, such as the Ultimate Display Case ($279) and the "shadowbox" shelf ($89), but none are equipped with their own speakers.
Apple today released Apple Remote Desktop 3.1 Client and Admin, updating the remote management software for Mac OS X with functionality improvements as well as a security fix. Apple Remote Desktop 3.1 includes improvements to software distribution, asset management, remote control, remote assistance, automation, and other areas. The security update fixes a vulnerability that could allow malicious local users to modify packages used to install or upgrade client systems. Apple Remote Desktop 3.1 specifically includes fixes for remote lights out management of Xserve; scanning computers on the local network; installation of software meta-packages; authentication when using directory services; execution of AppleScript and Automator workflows; and compatibility with third party VNC viewers and servers. Both updates are recommended for all users, are available for free, and require Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
System builder Lenovo on Thursday launched the completely new Y series of portables under its mainstream 3000 label. As the company's first clear break from signature features inherited from IBM's ThinkPads, the Y series shifts attention towards media playback with the introduction of Lenovo's custom Shuttle Center controls. A scroll strip and button on each computer (pictured) lets the user quickly navigate and play music or videos through a custom Shuttle Center media management program. The flagship Y400 model also incorporates a 2-watt subwoofer into its chassis despite having only a 14-inch screen, better-suiting it to music without external speakers. The simpler, 13.3-inch Y300 model exchanges this audio performance for a webcam that can be used both for conversation and security, according to Lenovo: bundled software uses face recognition to grant access to the system without a special reader. Both the Y300 and Y400 have a DVD rewriter drive as standard and are driven by Core 2 Duo processors as well as GeForce Go 7300 chipsets for added 3D performance. Lenovo plans a simultaneous launch of the Y-series variants for December 15th in southeast Asia; a North American launch is likely, but hasn't been announced. Photos of the two systems are available after the jump.
UK cellular carrier 3 has unveiled its new X-Series phone, combining flat-rate internet access plans with the first cellular phones using the Symbian OS to support Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile for connecting to home TV service. Using either the Nokia N73 or Sony-Ericsson's W950i, subscribers can access home TV -- including cable, satellite, and Europe's Freeview over-the-air digital broadcasts -- through a Slingbox tuner connected to a home theater. The support extends to features present in the previous Windows Mobile version of SlingPlayer, according to Electronista, and can remotely program a PVR to record shows. The service is scheduled for availability from 3 starting December 1st in the UK, with other service areas expected to follow in early 2007.
Equalizer's High Frequency watch uses a combination of LCD and LED lights to simulate a stereo's graphic equalizer display. There is in fact only one LED light in the watch, which helps minimize power drain on the product's lithium battery. After putting on a brief show, the bars in the display drop, leaving just two lights behind to indicate the time according to a row of numbers. The face of the watch is mirrored to create a glossy shine, while the strap is made of stainless steel. The watch is further described as being waterproof. It can be bought in silver or black from a number of websites, such as Audiocubes ($179) or TokyoFlash (•17,800/$151).
Square Box Systems today released CatDV 5.1, a major update to its suite of video logging and media asset management software. CatDV 5.1 is a scalable media asset database with particular support for dealing with video content. The software features media analysis tools and automatic scene detection to extract the metadata inherent in most media files, with support for importing as well as exporting edit decision lists and other video-oriented file formats. The latest revision adds a new 'exploded' thumbnail view, an Enterprise edition of the CatDV Server, and improvements to the Live HTML Publisher as well as playback of Avid OMFI files. CatDV 5.1 is a free update for existing users of CatDV 5.0, and is priced at $275 for the Professional edition. A standalone introductory version of CatDV is available for $80. CatDV 5.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later with QuickTime 6.0 or newer.
Merging cellphone aesthetics with audio players, Thomson today officially revealed its Black Diamond music jukebox. The device, also known as the EH308, earns its title through an entirely glossy black casing that hides all but the most essential controls and reveals only a blue, touch-sensitive navigation pad, echoing the minimalism of LG's Chocolate cellphone. Thomson adds that the Black Diamond uses an 8GB mobile hard drive which can improve the transfer speed of songs. Media support extends to MP3 and WMA audio, photos, and video in either MPEG-4 or WMV format. With a built-in battery that can provide up to 15 hours of continuous playback, the Black Diamond will be available soon for $300.
22Moo today debuted the SeepuStar DV230, its portable video glasses designed to connect to virtually any mobile or home video source, including Apple's video iPod. The glasses include two enhanced definition displays to offer a theater experience with a virtual 35-inch screen, and include three sizes of nose pads for added comfort. The display is adjustable with the ability to tilt up or down to provide an optimal viewing angle, and the flexible arms are designed to fit most head sizes. The glasses cater to users with prescription glasses and are scheduled to ship on November 22nd for $250.
Newer Technology (NewerTech) today introduced the new MAXPower G4/7447A 1.6GHz processor upgrade for the Power Mac G4. NewerTech upgrades incorporate FreeScale (formerly Motorola) PowerPC G4 processors, and are capable of doubling or tripling Power Mac performance, according to the company. The upgrades increase universal software compatibility, offering a plug-and-play design for quicker installation. The latest version of the upgrade works with the Power Mac G4 AGP Graphics ("Sawtooth") 100MHz bus, "Gigabit Ethernet" 100MHz bus, "Digital Audio" 133MHz bus, "Quick Silver" 133MHz bus, and the "Quick Silver 2002" 133MHz bus. The upgrade is priced at $250 and comes with a 3-year hardware warranty.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed MindManager 6 ($230, shown at right), a visual mind mapping tool designed to map out particular tasks that occur in projects.... The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published a patent for Sik describing an iPod 'form-fitted molded protective case,' relating generally to the making of protective iPod cases and products.... Apple is hosting a series of Architecture seminars at its Apple Stores this November and into December, featuring Graphisoft's ArchiCAD BIM technology running on a Mac Pro workstation.... Other World Computing (OWC) has announced its "Consumer-Created Commercial Contest" running through December 31st, 2006 and open to the public - allowing amateur digital filmmakers to "play advertising executive".... Yazsoft has released Speed Download 4.1.5 ($25), an update to the fourth generation of its download manager for Mac OS X.... Extensis has been awarded a second patent for its Express Palette feature within Portfolio, its digital asset management software.
Coby has begun carrying the unique C341, a portable stereo with its own integrated flash music player. The internal jukebox can play MP3 or WMA music stored either in its 256MB of flash memory or from removable SD cards. It can also be treated as a self-contained voice recorder, according to Coby, as it can not only record voice but encode audio to MP3 in real-time. An FM radio is standard and the player can serve as an alarm clock that wakes users to their choice of music. The 11-inch system is designed for portability and comes with both a shoulder strap and four C-cell batteries for traveling, though Coby doesn't provide a battery life estimate. The company says its boombox is compatible with both Macs and PCs and ships from Amazon for $55.
As with Samsung's U740, Sony-Ericsson's newly announced W44S (to be offered by Japanese provider AU) will feature a pivoting screen that switches between portrait and landscape modes to assist with viewing landscape images. Unlike earlier phones, however, the CDMA-based W44S is designed by Sony-Ericsson as a near-complete replacement for many other portable devices and is the very first Japanese phone to include a tuner for digital broadcast radio. The handset further includes a wide screen with a Bravia processing engine, a 1Seg tuner for Japan's native mobile TV format, and support for FeliCa smartcard technology that can be used to shop and gain secure access from the phone itself. Owners can additionally buy music and videos from KDDI's Lismo direct download service. AU will carry the W44S in Japan by mid-December but has not listed the price. Click below to see full-sized photos.
Apple and AMD are joining forces to build an AMD-based Apple laptop, according to a report by DigiTimes. The publication claims that Taiwan passive component makers are seeing an aggressive rise in orders for high-capacitance multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), and that most of the MLCCs are for use in an AMD-based Apple notebook. The new laptop will require about 70 22ĶF MLCCs manufactured by Japan-based Murata Manufacturing, Taiyo Yuden and TDK. Demand for Apple's Intle-based dual-core laptops that require around 80 22Ķ MLCCs has tightened supply for the high-capacitance MLCCs, forcing notebook makers to adjust their MLCC mixture. AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in September suggested that Apple would eventually use AMD processors in some of its Macs to avoid being held "hostage" to exclusive pricing deals from Intel.
In a slew of announcements meant to coincide with next week's large-scale Black Friday sales, Vizio today revealed both a new 42-inch plasma display as well as a series of new LCD TVs. While the pricing will initially be limited to a one-day Costco sale, the VP42 will be the first plasma TV of its size to reach a $1000 price level while still offering real HD resolutions, Vizio claims. A slight upgrade to the existing P42, the VP42 carries over many of the existing features such as 720p/1080i video support, a built-in ATSC tuner for HDTV broadcasts, and HDMI input. A further highlight today is the VX20LHDTV, a 20-inch LCD that Vizio says is the least expensive 720p-capable TV with an ATSC tuner in the market at $400. The company has additionally released the VX32L ($700), VX37L ($1000), and higher-end Gallevia GV46L ($1,650) LCD sets at sizes of 32, 37, and 46 inches respectively. The company did not mention the exact improvements found in these models but expects them and the VP42 to be available in time for Black Friday sales events at stores such as BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club.
Analyst firm Piper Jaffray estimates that Apple will sell between 14 and 15 million iPods in the December quarter, according to a research note provided by senior research analyst Gene Munster. While the data is preliminary and extrapolated from October sales statistics collected by NPD, the results point to a new, positive trend in Apple's ability to beat sales estimates through early predictions, as Piper Jaffray itself predicts 14.7 million iPods sold during the holiday period. "This is the first quarter in 3 quarters that the first month of iPod NPD data has suggested a number at or above our estimate," the research note says. Piper Jaffray is also quick to add that its results do not include sales of the new iPod shuffle, which only began shipping November 3rd. The basic music player is prepared to have a "material impact" on the total number of iPods sold. "Our current expectations for the quarter could prove to be low," Munster added.
Nikon today released its entry-level D40 digital SLR. The D40 retains the same 6.1-megapixel sensor as the D50 but trims features and size to appeal to first-time DSLR users, according to Electronista. The camera sheds the built-in auto-focus motor and separate status display of the D50 and higher camers, also limiting the number of focus areas to three. However, the camera also inherits features present only in the newer D80 and D200 cameras, Nikon says. This includes support for SD cards larger than 2GB, user-definable auto ISO modes, and an improved image processing engine. The D40 further adds features designed explicitly for beginners such as in-camera image retouching and settings recommendations. Crucially, the company adds, its price is far lower than for many basic DSLRs. The D40 ships in December for $600 while including an 18-55mm, 3X zoom lens with an integrated auto-focus motor.
Sony's oft-maligned PlayStation 3, which is due to launch tomorrow, is an "engineering masterpiece" that provides much more performance for the money than Microsoft's Xbox 360, according to a component pricing breakdown performed by market researchers iSuppli. The report reveals that the price of the PS3 is dramatically lower than the actual assembly costs, the entry-level 20GB model costing Sony an estimated $806 despite its $499 official price. The difference results in a $307 loss to Sony for every system sold that dramatically outweighs the price difference of the Xbox 360 Premium model, which loses only $76 per console. Click through for further information about the breakdown.
By the end of the year, Cingular will be adopting the LG CU400, says Mobiledia. The GSM phone will stream clips from Cingular Video at 15fps, as well as live content from MobiTV and MobiRadio. A VGA camera will shoot stills at 640x480 or video at 320x240, the latter of which will be transmittable via MMS. Photos will be alterable on-camera for size, brightness, and white balance, among other factors. The phone will also support features such as e-mail, Push-to-Talk and Bluetooth 1.2, but interestingly, there is no mention of MP3 playback, nor any sort of storage media. Video and photo files should however be transferrable through a USB cable.
GizMac has begun shipping the XRackPro2, a black version of its server rack mount cabinet designed for noise reduction. The company claims that the new cabinet reduces noise from installed equipment by up to 80 percent, allowing users to place computer, audio/video, and other equipment in areas that require low noise levels. The cabinet is ideal for post production for film, video and audio editing; television, cable and radio broadcasting; and business offices. Pricing for the black XRackPro2 starts at $500.
In an unusual collaboration, Microsoft and appliance designer Salton have announced the Melitta Smart Mill & Brew, a coffee-maker that displays real-time weather information from MSN. It specifically uses MSN Direct, a wireless delivery service. Weather information is broadcast across the FM band in over 120 North American cities, and then received automatically by the Mill & Brew and displayed on an LCD panel. There are no subscription fees for the service. The product is a part of Microsoft's SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) initiative, which has already seen MSN Direct watches from Fossil, Swatch, Tissot and others. The Mill & Brew costs $200 and be found at shops such as Amazon and Sharper Image.
British cellular carrier 3 has unveiled its new X-Series phone range, combining flat-rate Internet access plans with the first cellphones using the Symbian OS to support Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile for connecting to their home TV service. Using either the Nokia N73 or Sony-Ericsson's W950i (pictured), subscribers can access home TV -- including cable, satellite, and Europe's Freeview over-the-air digital broadcasts -- through a Slingbox tuner connected to their home theater. The support extends to features present in the previous Windows Mobile version of SlingPlayer and can remotely program a PVR to record shows. 3 further includes a series of other Internet-based programs with the two phones, shipping them with the ability to make free calls to Skype users, access media from a home PC through Orb, and monitor eBay auctions. The lack of bandwidth restrictions on all of these services means that X-Series owners can use these features as often as they like, 3 says. The service will be available from 3 beginning December 1st in the UK; other service areas are expected to follow in early 2007.
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published a revolutionary Apple patent application titled 'mechanical overlay,' which depicts a new touchscreen technology that can serve as a keyboard, audio mixer, iPod clickwheel, and much more. The patent reveals potential plans for Apple to revolutionize its computing and iPod usage experience, replacing traditional keyboards and clickwheels with touchscreens displaying programmable images while accepting touch-sensitive input. The patent describes, among other details, a 'multipoint touch method' that receives multiple touches on the surface of the touchscreen, coupled with tactile as well as audio feedback of touches. Written and researched by Neo.
The Babel Company company announced that it has relinquished development of its archival utility for Mac OS X to another developer. Impression, a comprehensive backup utility, is now maintained by "I Need Your Software," who has released a new Universal version of the utility for native operation on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. Version 3.02 of the system utility offers both full and incremental archive operations, can create plain-file or pax-based archives, supports archives to spanned CD/DVD sets, delivers iCal-bases scheduling, can encrypt and/or compress disk images, offers file segmentation and verification, bookmark management, grep-based exclusions/filters, reporting, preservation of HFS meta-data, and multisession burning. It is available for $20.
SmileOnMyMac has released DiscLabel 4.0, the latest version of its CD/DVD label design software for the Mac. Version 4 features new design tools, such as multiple layer support and gradients, as well as interface improvements that simplify the creation of new designs; it adds the ability to add multiple layers, which can be hidden or reordered. Users can copy and paste all layers into a new design to create additional packaging elements like jewel cases. New tools for creating freehand scribbles and polygons have been added, as well as support for multicolor gradient fills for text and objects. It also features smooth color gradients for objects and text and s simplified and improved text editing user interface. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later and costs $33 ($50 for a family pack). Upgrades are $15 from an earlier version (free to purchases after August 1st).
UAC this morning introduced the MC88, a small keyboard designed primarily for the Mac mini. The 88-key device is uniquely built to support both Macs and Windows PCs, UAC says. Beyond clear labels that identify Mac keys and their Windows equivalents, the MC88 can use the F13-F15 keys as the Print, Scroll Lock, and Pause keys normally used in Windows. The keyboard has all Mac-specific keys and comes with a second USB 2.0 port as well as a Y-splitter USB cable to connect additional peripherals. Available in black or white, the MC88 is currently available in Japan with both English and Japanese lettering for a suggested price of $83 US.
Sorenson Media today announced the immediate availability of Sorenson Squeeze 4.5, an update to its applications that allow users to easily compress and share videos on CDs, DVDs or over the Web by importing digitized video files, reference movies, or digital camera output and publishing it in virtually any video production formats. Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite, Squeeze 4.5 PowerPack and Squeeze 4.5 for Flash are available, offering features that boost compression and preprocessing speeds, integrate Appleís H.264 for output to MP4 or QuickTime, contain new 3GPP and PSP presets for cell phones and Sonyís PSP (Playstation Portable), and new presets for Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Along with providing compression rates 2-3 times faster than previous versions, scaling up or down between SD and HD is now twice as fast in Sorenson Squeeze 4.5. In addition, version 4.5 is now a Universal Binary for native performance on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs.
Two airlines -- Air France and KLM -- have refuted claims made by Apple that the companies would offer the first seamless integration between iPod and in-flight entertainment systems. "It's way too early to confirm any such details," an Air France spokeswoman told Reuters, referring to Apple's announced mid-2007 availability of iPod seat connectivity. A spokesman from KML also confirmed that a deal with the iPod maker is still far from complete. "It's very premature what Apple [is] saying," said a KLM spokesman, who cited some "informal contacts" between Apple and the airline. "We have no idea if this is technically feasible, if it's financially viable, or it customers want it," the spokesman said. "At this moment, we have absolutely no intention of introducing it on board."
Onset Computer has unveiled a new computerized temperature-tracking product for consumers that provides adetailed, visual profile of household heat and air conditioning usage. Designed to help reduce energy costs, the new HOBO Temperature Logger Kit combines a HOBO Data Logger - a compact, battery-powered temperature recording device - and accompanying software that allows you to view heat and AC activity on your home PC or Mac. "The HOBO is even easier to use than a programmable thermostat," the company said. "An average homeowner with basic computer skills can set up and activate the HOBO within minutes. Then, it's just a matter of disconnecting the HOBO from the computer and placing it in areas throughout the home to be monitored." The HOBO U10 Kit, which includes a HOBO U10 temperature data logger, HOBOware Lite software, and USB interface cable, is priced at $80.
As previously reported, iRiver today introduced the Clix 4GB media player. In addition to the increased capacity, the new Clix has been upgraded in appearance to distinguish it from the existing 2GB version, iRiver says. In place of the borderless white backing, the 4GB model has an all-black exterior with a chrome border. The bew Clix continues support for MP3/OGG/WMA audio, JPEG photos, MPEG-4 video, and Flash-based games. iRiver plans to sell the 4GB iteration for $200 and has lowered the price of the 2GB model to $169. An official launch date has not been announced.
Nikon on Thursday released its D40 entry-level digital SLR. Previously hinted at by an early product posting, the D40 retains the same 6.1-megapixel sensor as the D50 but trims features and size to appeal to first-time DSLR users. The camera sheds a built-in auto-focus motor as well as a separate status display, and limits the focus areas to three. However, the camera also inherits features present only in the newer D80 and D200 cameras, according to Nikon. This includes support for SD cards larger than 2GB, user definable auto ISO modes, and an improved processing engine. The D40 further adds features designed explicitly for beginners such as in-camera image retouching and settings recommendations. Crucially, the company says, its price is far lower than for many basic DSLRs: the D40 ships in December for $600 while including an 18-55mm, 3X zoom lens with an integrated auto-focus motor. Additional photos follow after the jump.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe